- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 26, 2005

MONACO

Pope sends support for Prince Rainier

MONACO — Pope John Paul II, himself battling fragile health, sent a message of support to Monaco’s Prince Rainier yesterday as doctors said they were “extremely cautious” about the ailing monarch’s chances of survival.

The 81-year-old Rainier, widower of Hollywood film star Grace Kelly, has a lung infection complicated by cardiac and kidney problems. He is in intensive care at a hospital in the Mediterranean principality his family has ruled for 700 years.

The 84-year-old pope, making his own painful recovery from recent throat surgery, sent a missive to the prince on a subdued Easter weekend in the tiny French Riviera state.

“Informed of the trial of ill health that has struck his Most Serene Highness, the Holy Father joins him by sending warm wishes through thought and prayer,” the pope said.

GERMANY

24 percent in west want Berlin Wall back

BERLIN — Fifteen years after the Berlin Wall fell, 24 percent of West Germans surveyed said they wanted it back, according to a poll published yesterday.

Germany has poured some $2 trillion into rebuilding the former East Germany, after the collapse of its communist regime led to reunification in 1990. The east still lags economically, however, and is often blamed for Germany’s big budget deficits and lagging growth.

When asked “would it be better if the wall between east and west still stood?” some 12 percent of easterners agreed, according to results from the Forsa poll reported in the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.

RUSSIA

2 die in fire at art market

MOSCOW — A fire yesterday swept through a sprawling Moscow art market popular with tourists for its unusual antiques from around the former Soviet Union and sometimes bargain prices. News reports said two persons were killed.

The blaze at Izmailovsky market sent a roiling cloud of black smoke over northeastern Moscow as flames leapt from several structures built to resemble traditional Russian buildings, including one topped with the onion-shaped domes characteristic of Russian Orthodox churches.

LITHUANIA

‘Wife Swap’ TV show fuels values debate

VILNIUS — A television reality show called “Wife Swap,” which has already done the rounds in other European countries, is about to debut in Lithuania amid a moral uproar, with critics saying it abuses children’s rights and tramples on family values.

“It seems that commercial goals outweigh moral obligations. Such a show violates the basic principles of children’s rights and inflicts huge moral damage on society,” said the parliamentary commission for family and children’s affairs.

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